Guwahati, July 3: The strong statements made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi against attacks and killings in the name of cow protection recently have failed to deter cow vigilantes (gau rakshaks) from carrying forward with their nefarious activities.
The attacks in the name of cow protection continue unabated across the country. On Sunday, drivers and helpers of three vehicles ferrying cattle in Assam have been attacked by a Hindu group. The attack was allegedly carried out by a little-known Hindu group, Hindu Yuba Chhatra Parishad.
The attackers beat the drivers and helpers of the vehicles in spite of them showing valid documents allowing them to ferry the animals.
The incident took place near the outskirts of Guwahati city in the state. According to a police official, a truck and two tempos were carrying the cattle near the Sonapur area of Guwahati district.
"We got the information that the members of the Hindu Yuba Chhatra Parishad's Dimoria unit have stopped three vehicles transporting cattle. We dispatched a police team which took control of the vehicles and the persons," the official told PTI.
The official said the transporters had proper challans for transporting the cattle. The truck was coming from Tinsukia in Upper Assam while the two tempos returned from the Jagiroad market, he said.
"On checking, we found that there were some irregularities in the permits of the vehicles only. We have sent the vehicles to the Transport Department for proper verification," he added.
While local TV channels aired visuals of the drivers and helpers being thrashed by the vigilantes, the police official did not confirm it.
"The drivers themselves drove the vehicles to the office of the District Transport Officer and nobody complained of any physical assault. No one has filed any complaint. We cannot confirm any assault," the official said.
Guwahati Police Deputy Commissioner (East) Mohneesh Mishra too declined to confirm the beating up of the drivers and helpers as no one filed any complaint with the police yet. Asked if this was a case of cow vigilantism, Mishra said it was being examined.
In April, two Muslim men were beaten to death by a mob for allegedly smuggling cattle in Nagaon district. Moreover, several northeastern states including Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland have strongly protested against the recent ruling of cattle sale and slaughter in animal markets across the country.
Critics of the latest rulings say that the ruling BJP is trying to ban beef across the country through back door means by coming up with strict rules and regulations.